Science of Summer: Last shot at fatherhood leads aging loons to risk lives

By Tom Spears, Ottawa Sun, June 22, 2018

An American loon scientist had a puzzle: Year after year, he saw aging and weakened male loons fighting for territory against younger and stronger rivals. It didn’t make sense if the older birds wanted to go on living.

Today, Walter Piper sees it as one last roll of the dice, aging males risking injury or death to hang on to a place where they have had success at breeding.

“Males are the ones, for some reason, that choose where the nest goes,” he said.

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